What is an example of situational irony in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Situational Irony – not so much the opposite of what you expect to happen. Situational Irony is more specifically defined as when a perverse, tragic, surprisingly amusing or odd outcome occurs. So, the outcome is not what you’d expect to happen and often, it is contrary to what the characters or the people involved intended. Juliet goes to the Friar and she takes a drug that will induce a 42-hour sleep which will make her appear dead. She does this to avoid marrying Paris and to be with Romeo. The situational irony is when Romeo finds her and he thinks she is actually dead and so, kills himself. That’s the situational irony, but you could also call it tragic irony. Juliet’s subsequent suicide is not as ironic as it is just tragic.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial